When several thousand leading clinicians and researchers recently converged at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), UNC TARC experts were on hand to help lead the scientific dialog and provide important medical updates.

Some of these updates included:

  • Dr. Scott Commins and his team revealed that the red meat allergy-causing sugar “alpha-gal” is found in tick saliva regardless of whether the tick had recently fed on an animal, challenging prior theories and showing that the likelihood of tick bites causing red meat allergy may be higher than previously thought.
  • Dr. Onyi Iweala discussed new insights into the mechanism of delayed anaphylaxis related to alpha gal red meat allergy.
  • Dr. Mildred Kwan and Dr. Eddie Iglesia presented abstracts on collaborative research with Dr. Saira Sheikh on vaccination education in inflammatory diseases and immunodeficiency.
  • Dr. Quindelyn Cook, Dr. Jamie Waldron, and Dr. Mildred Kwan presented abstracts on UNC’s in-patient penicillin testing program, which helps UNC physicians identify patients who are allergic to penicillin and remove incorrect labeling from patients who are not.
  • Dr. Luann Yang, Dr. Quin Cook, and Dr. Amika Sood (all 3 are graduating Allergy/Immunology fellows) presented their original research; and Allergy/Immunology Fellows Dr. Erin Steinbach and Dr. Chirag Patel presented case reports.

Several physicians, including Dr. Scott Commins and Dr. Edwin Kim were interviewed by members of the news media and also led AAAAI discussions regarding their perspectives on key issues discussed at the conference, as well as new allergy research regarding potential future therapeutics that are being investigated.

Our thanks and congratulations to the entire team.